Japan Today

saborichan comments

Posted in: For Japan, 2010 was a year to forget See in context

Quite a good summary of the Japanese situation... Don't forget though, that Japan CAN change very rapidly when the situation is right...

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Posted in: How Japan can turn the tables on its economic decline See in context

What an atrociously random article. To suggest that Japan's rise was 'luck' and not at all due to massively long work hours since the 50s where everyone grimaced and bore the pain until the affluent late 70s-80s arrived. China isn't doing things 'better' than Japan did; it's going to hit the same hurdles if its currency gets adjusted. An interesting discussion to submit, but a woefully amateur article.

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Posted in: Is Japan’s social gaming boom an explosion or an implosion? See in context

I don't know if Japan's game quality has gotten any worse - I can't think of a way to say it's so, everything has only grown in sophistication - but that's true of the competition too. American game producers are far better than they used to be, and very much hold their own against Japanese producers. Japan, in its usual inward manner, has continued to make great games, but only a fraction of these ever make it to import for other countries. There are so many Japanese games that are just too culturally focused on Japan to translate effectively. So Japan has slipped relatively, but not because of being 'bad'; just not being cutting edge outside of a few overachievers.

Gaming in America and the west in general has made a shift too, to being more mainstream, whilst gaming in Japan is solely focused on consoles and still has that otaku tinge to it. Japan's gamer culture is slipping behind the American model, even if that model is full of stoners and abusive teenagers behaving awfully online. It's still becoming a wider market and more mainstream, and that includes Social Gaming with the new models of micropayments (where you generally get a game for free but pay for extra goodies in-game).

Nobody is quite sure where social gaming will wind up. But if Japan can get on board with things like Android and other widespread use handheld device OS, it might take off there too.

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Posted in: A global goodbye for Hikaru Utada See in context

Good for you, Utada. I hope the strange path she's taken since being a teenager doesn't stop her from finding another passion. Love your work.

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Posted in: WikiLeaks loses major source of revenue See in context

People seem to be ignoring the fact that people bring the information -to- Wikileaks. That's why they are a wiki... made of leaks. And that means that it's not just Julian releasing this data, but people in positions of privlege who decide that something is immoral or being kept from the populace against their better interest. And that's why they bring these documents to Wikileaks. Not because they want to sabotage their own countries.

Do you really think someone would do this just out of some immature anti-government rhetoric? No. It's because they think it's the right thing to let everyone know the data.

The governments can crush Wikileaks if they want - it will just resurface somewhere else. Dont' think they don't have 100 backups of everything.

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Posted in: Which of Tokyo's commuter rail lines have the best babes and worst habits? See in context

What's creepy is how most of the posters have no problem with the content of this article... Shouldn't it say something about where to see the best looking men as well? I know plenty of westerners are ready to criticise Japan's slow gender progress, but they turn around and admit to their perving here, even if they aren't dumb enough to shoot photos.

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Posted in: English course for 2-3-yr-olds See in context

Indeed, hime... I was just telling some people about my time in Japan the other day, saying that the kids considered it a subject and not a language.

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Posted in: English course for 2-3-yr-olds See in context

I'm torn: people keep telling me kids should study a language as early as possible, on the other hand, I've always had disdain for this sort of brain-cramming...

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Posted in: Sneak thief's book provides new revelations into larceny See in context

Businessman to the end!

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Posted in: Crowe and arrow See in context

my2sense, it's not 'mite' and if you think it is, you're one of those people who is just waaaay off when it comes to getting an Aussie accent down.

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Posted in: Crowe and arrow See in context

Best fascinatist?

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Posted in: Utada: 'I don't want to be a helpless adult' See in context

I don't think it's a bad question to ask - she's obviously been asking it of herself and he's feeding her a chance to explain herself to her fans.

I love the fact that she's had such an international experience and so is removed from the 'omg i wanna be a housewife, /cutegiggle/' mindset that a lot of unambitious J-girls can get into.

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Posted in: Harry Potter stars sad to say goodbye See in context

There's no question that these kids are mostly set for life, money-wise. It will be a challenge for them to find things to do with themselves though, to satisfy their own growth. When people have made you into a star and a cause celebre at age 10, you can almost only go downhill.

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Posted in: Once-mighty MySpace deepens Facebook integration See in context

I'm a internet addict and I never saw the point of myspace. Hated it, in fact; go to someone's page and get blasted with a massivel long page of slow-loading pictures and videos, AND music that starts automatically at high volume. Ugh.

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Posted in: Low-calorie sliced bread See in context

My local bakeries only ever contained sweets - sugared bread, cinnamon whirls, etc. Could never find a decent loaf.

Will this product be super thick too? or cut into manageable pieces?

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Posted in: Matsumoto Castle See in context

right purty

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Posted in: After The Beatles, who remains an iTunes holdout? See in context

Prince is a curious character. It's bizarre that he thinks the internet is now a dead space, when actually it's more alive than ever. It's now completely normal for people to use social networking on their phones and laptops on the train ride home, and iTunes is getting in on that action with a new service called Ping that basically is facebook for your playlist. Like this song, let everyone know, etc. Great in theory, though I abhorr iTunes and the way it refuses to let me arrange names for my files, but instead wants to source them itself. If anyone knows how I can command itunes to sort files by Folder name and file name rather than metadata I can't easily access, let me know!

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Posted in: 24 hours a day See in context

He may just be clapping his hands together.

He looks a bit like an uncle or something though.

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Posted in: AOL cracks open door to new Project Phoenix e-mail See in context

I think the posters here have it right... You won't win back the google crowd, me included.

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Posted in: Hotel's safety policy under fire after woman employee molested See in context

I stayed at a Toyoko Inn , I think it was in Kokura. The attendants were unfriendly and abrupt, and barely wanted to have me.

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Posted in: Seibu Railways to introduce 'maid trains' See in context

Fascinating questions yokomoc... If kawaii dies in Japan, what on earth could they find to replace it? Japanese people speak with such a limited vocabulary in everyday life; how would the next phase come? A disgruntled emo rejection of all that came before seems like a logical phase.

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Posted in: The freefall of Japan’s anime industry See in context

Zenny, stuff like Naruto and Bleach are great - they're the easily digestible anime that anyone can get into. It's a staple that the industry needs. There needs to be a certain penetration of the child market in order to foster that enthusiasm as the kids grow up. Otherwise they'll give it all away as the world bears down on them.

Has anyone seen Arakawa Under The Bridge? Speaking of piracy, I've just seen a few episodes on youtube, but it cracked me up. Very ironic, self-referential sort of anime that pokes fun at Japanese stereotypes. Would it sell? Barely. But I enjoyed it...

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Posted in: Grounding the JETs See in context

It's true that Japan should consider teaching Chinese. But honestly, the country is sooo slow to change. And if they wanted to teach Chinese, there would be a MASSSSSSIVE shortage of staff. So that right there is one reason why they are reluctant. Would it be the smart thing to do? Yes. But it won't happen without a seismic shift in thinking.

As for Lovejapan sending kids out - you realise you're actually breaking the education laws by doing so? Don't misunderstand, I did it once or twice myself, but you actually aren't allowed to send kids out of the classroom, by law. By J-law, All kids have a right to an education - even if that means destroying the education for the other kids. Sadly, not enough J-teachers have the balls to remove disruptive kids from their classes, and with no form of detention and long days at club, there's no real consequences for bad behaviour in Japan. Once they realise that, it's open slather for misbehavin'

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Posted in: Grounding the JETs See in context

As much as I think the JET programme has merit, it does occur to me to think: What if the money was used to send one teacher from every school abroad for a year, each year? That would bring in heaps of prospective teachers who would come back skilled! They might quit teaching after, but at the very least they'd have the passion for language.

The only problem would be if they hole up together abroad instead of seeing the world.

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Posted in: Grounding the JETs See in context

Another anachronistic assessment by someone who went on the program and therefore knows everything. What a pity your future visions of China and India have blinkered you from recognising the developments of the past 15 years - give the program the credit it deserves for helping internationalise rural Japan and suburban Japan! I'm so tired of articles that gloss over the difference between Japan Now and Japan Then. This is, of course, an endemic problem in historial perspective, but it's still critical.

I do agree that the system is very broken, though. But it isn't just broken for English. Even Japanese classes involve hours of kanji writing practice and compound memorisation drudgery; if a country's own language skills are focused on aesthetics rather than meaning, teaching another language is always going to suffer. Until Japan removes its rote learning aspects in favour of a more discerning, analytical pedagogy, it's going to continue to have the problems that plague it now, not just in JET.

It's unfortunate because Japan has risen on the back of a few things: 1) unfair obligations to work ceaselessly, 2) excellent results in 'right' answer subjects like math and science, and 3) the willingness to emulate and reinvent itself more than any other culture.

But these hardships still haven't doused the curiosity of students who love to learn and to use language. I agree with noriyosan73 - the program is of enormous benefit to adults. I taught a volunteer English class for five years, and even during the program, I knew very clearly that those classes were what kept me going when school was bad. Every single week for 5 years was a joy, and I never once regretted spending my evening with those fine people. If JET has to be axed, at least save some of the money for adult classes.

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Posted in: Anti-China protest See in context

Kiddo, better check all your garments there and find out which of those are China-made... You might get an awkward surprise.

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Posted in: Hello Kitty blanket See in context

STOP THE PRESS

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Posted in: Lanky, brooding Superman for contemporary world See in context

Good point about making him into Batman. The latter is the tortured, human character who chooses to fight evil. Superman is, literally, that ubermensch removed from the agonies of mundane life. This seems more like CPR than reinvention.

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Posted in: Japan's young generation pursues stability over promotion See in context

Awful that the study is implying it's these young people's fault that they aren't inspired by a system that uses its workers like drone bees. If some efforts had been made to worker rights that aren't superseded by social expectations, people might be expected to strive harder. Oh, and an education system where what you learn actually matters for your job - that would help too.

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Posted in: Are evening newscasts headed for shift? See in context

Haha, tkoind2, just once I'd like to see some talento take a delicious dish to her mouth then shrug and say 'meh, had better'.

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